Agreement drafted, architect chosen for downtown ballpark

Agreement drafted, architect chosen for downtown ballpark

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Local Government Corporation (LGC) has approved a letter of agreement with a subsidiary of Elmore Sports Group to lease the planned multi-purpose event venue (MPEV) to one of their double-A affiliated baseball teams.

The preliminary agreement between the LGC and Elmore stated the team will lease the downtown ballpark for $400,000 per year for through 2048, with contract outs in 2038 if the city fails to agree to stadium upgrades and renovations to keep up with industry standards.

If the parties can agree on a renovation plan, Elmore will extend its contract with the city through 2058.

Of the $400,000 per year lease price, $225,000 per year will be put into a reserve fun used exclusively for capital repair and replacements needed for the stadium.

All parties involved are aiming for February 1, 2019, as the first day the team will have access to the stadium, with full occupancy on April 1, 2019, two months later.

Aside from regular season baseball games starting in 2019, the agreement states the city can use the MPEV for "12 non-commercial events per calendar year."

"Over the next few weeks the city council will be finalizing the lease discussions with [the Elmore Sports Group]," said Bob Cowell, Amarillo's Deputy City Manager.

The LGC has also hired an international architectural firm, Populous, to design  the stadium.

"It's a firm that's based out of Kansas City, and this is what they do. They build sports facilities internationally as well as nationally," said Cowell. "The group we're working with is about a dozen folks that work almost exclusively in minor league facilities. I think they indicated there are 30-something they've done in the last 10 or so years. These are the best of what it is they do and we're looking forward to working with them."

The notice to proceed to begin design work will be issued to Populous on Tuesday, and they'll be paid $2.6 million to do so.

That money on top of the total $45.4 million budget for the entire project.

With offices on four continents, Populous boasts stadium designs for international and domestic events alike. The company was the lead firm involved in designing the London Olympic Stadium in 2012 and the new stadium for Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. On a comparable scale, Populous was the firm in charge of the design for the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium and a 5,500 seat amphitheater owned by NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Both announcements come less than a week after Elmore Sports Group announced one of its teams, the San Antonio Missions, will relocate to Amarillo and play in the planned baseball venue during the Spring 2019 season.

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